Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

The Essence Of Gratitude

Jone Eareckson Tada

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:15

We take for granted so many of the words we say, without ever considering what they might really mean. Take the words thank you. We’ll say this phrase automatically, hardly even realizing we’ve spoken. In Spanish, the term is muchas gracias, or, “much grace.” So when you’re thanking someone in Madrid, you’re actually saying, “You have shown me much grace. I don’t deserve your favor and kindness.” In French, you say merci, or mercy. When you speak appreciation to someone in Paris, you’re really saying, “You have shown me mercy.”

Grace and mercy, both of which have their origins in God, are the very essence of gratitude. When you truly thank and bless God from the heart, you are acknowledging, “I’m at Your mercy, Lord, and I am humbled by Your grace and favor.” And with Paul, we all can say, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

Father, it seems like I’m just water-skiing over the surface of life sometimes, without ever thinking about the depths below. I’m thankful for many, many wonderful people and things, but it all goes back to the very source of my gratitude. Without your mercy and grace so freely offered to me in Christ, I wouldn’t have real life at all. Thank You for Jesus.